Irish Impress Smith

Offensive lineman Stefen Wisniewski wasn't the only player from Central Catholic high school (Pittsburgh, Pa.) to attend Notre Dame's junior day January 14. Also making the trip over to South Bend was their talented athlete Lamont Smith.

Lamont Smith (5-9 175-pounds) will be carrying the ball again for Central Catholic head coach Terry Totten again next season, but when Smith moves into the college ranks, he'll likely use his speed on the defensive side of the ball.

"He's an extremely fast, durable kid," coach Totten said of Smith. "Right now he's a running back for us, but he could easily flip over to defense. He can cover anybody. I believe he's a legit 4.4 forty kid. He anchors the 4 X 100 meter relay team here.

"He rushed for over 2,000 yards on the year with 29 touchdowns. He has very good balance, very good feet. He makes good cuts, and he's a smart player. His best ability is his vertical burst. He's not real big yet, but he's a vertical kid. He hits the crease and he's gone. Good hands, good work ethic."

"He took the brunt of the carries," coach Totten continued. "He carried the ball 20 times a game in a tough conference. You can't get a real clean shot on him. He's a weight room kid. He can take it. We didn't get the ball to him enough out of the backfield, but he can catch the ball. We got it to him enough and he made stuff happen."

There is no question in the coach Totten's mind that Lamont will be a heavily recruited player. Notre Dame wasn't showing a tremendous amount of interest until Lamont returned from the U.S. Army junior combine.

"I didn't get too many letters from them, maybe three or four," Lamont Smith recalled. "I sent my highlight tape to them about a month ago and they got back to my dad and they told him they were going to be recruiting me. Then the invitation to the junior day came in the mail when I got back from Texas and I was like ‘dang they must be interested'.

"I'm interested in Notre Dame, I didn't really start watching them until this year and they did real good. I always liked them, but I didn't start watching them until this year."

Smith is certainly interested enough in Notre Dame to accept the junior day invitation and drive to South Bend with his parents.

"We took a tour around campus," Smith explained of his visit to Notre Dame. "The facilities and weight room were unbelievable. It was fun. I liked it... I'd like to come back. My parents liked it too. They liked it a lot.

"We talked to coach Lewis and the recruiting coordinator from my area, John Latina. Coach Lewis talked about his defensive philosophy and schemes. I was impressed with him. He's a cool guy."

"They didn't talk about an offer, but they said they want more film," Smith added. As one would expect, Notre Dame isn't the only school asking coach Totten for film on Smith.

"Boston College, Virginia Tech, Virginia and Pitt," Smith responded when asked what schools other than Notre Dame were recruiting him. "I'll probably go to Boston College and Virginia Tech junior days.

"Most schools told me that they're recruiting me for cornerback," he added.


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